Bulletin: Military Occupation and Conflict, the West Bank, and Gaza

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Panel: Confession and Testimony As Repertoires of Contention in Conflict Zones (Vienna, July 12, 2016)

futureswewant
Confession and Testimony As Repertoires of Contention in Conflict Zones
Tuesday, 12 July 2016: 10:45-12:15
Room: Hörsaal 21

RC48 Social Movements, Collective Actions and Social Change (host committee)

Language: English

Confession and testimony are central repertoires of contention in the disclosure of “ugly pasts.” Solidarity movements mobilize testimony to diffuse human rights violations condoned and supported by their own societies. Less attention has been paid to the deployment of testimony and confession by anti-denial movements, movements that demand that the members of their own societies acknowledge the “problematic present” in situations of ongoing ethno-national conflict, and take responsibility for it and action against it.
This session invites research that engage in the analysis of confession and testimony in contemporary conflicts by members of the perpetrator nation amongst them:

  • Are these repertoires gendered and how?
  • What are the groups that engage in testimony and confession?
  • How states and civil societies in perpetrator nations react to anti-denial movements?
  • Anti-denial movements and national identity.
Session Organizer:
Sara HELMAN, Ben Gurion University of the Negev, Israel

Oral Presentations:

Dis/Acknowledging Military Violence: Women Soldiers Testify Against the Occupation
Edna LOMSKY-FEDER, Department of Sociology and Anthropology and School of Education, Israel; Orna SASSON-LEVY, Department of Sociology and Anthroplogy Bar Ilan University, Israel

New Article: Weiss, How a Gentler Israeli Military Prevents Organized Resistance

Weiss, Erica. “Incentivized Obedience: How a Gentler Israeli Military Prevents Organized Resistance.” American Anthropologist 118.1 (2016): 91-103.

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/aman.12501
 

Abstract

In this article, I offer an ethnographic examination of neoliberal techniques of control through absence by the Israeli military, the state institution most associated with discipline, indoctrination, and direct coercion. I highlight the ways that the apparent withdrawal of the state from practices of indoctrination and the punishment of conscientious objectors are accompanied by a shift in recruitment and training that emphasizes self-advancement and social mobility above national and ideological commitments. While in the past the Israeli state and military focused exclusively on shaping self-sacrificing citizens, today it invests a great deal of its effort in structuring the calculated choices of self-interested individuals toward favorable outcomes. I explore the uneven but strategic deployment of incentivized governance and consider some of the effects of these techniques for the meaning of engaged citizenship and the politics of state violence in a militarized society. Further, I demonstrate that the lightening of disciplinary sanctions in favor of individual freedom is an effective form of weakening dissent and that it confounds efforts to constitute organized resistance to militarism, leaving activists floundering to find effective ways to express their political concerns.

 

 

 

New Article: Aboultaif, Just War and the Lebanese Resistance to Israel

Aboultaif, Eduardo Wassim. “Just War and the Lebanese Resistance to Israel.” Critical Studies on Terrorism (early view; online first).

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/17539153.2016.1175268

 

Abstract

The literature on Lebanese resistance to Israel is overwhelmed with work on Hezbollah, the role of religion, and its connection to Iranian influence. However, few of these studies have looked at the totality of Lebanese resistance, from its secular origins to its Islamic monopoly. Moreover, no work to date has looked at Lebanese resistance through the prism of just war theory. This article aims at addressing this gap by applying the criteria introduced by Childress regarding the justness of war. Moreover, the article examines resistance as a practice of non-state actors and its terrorist label, and at the same time, evaluates Israel’s military response to Lebanese resistance through the prism of state terrorism.

 

 

 

New Book: Natanel, Sustaining Conflict

Natanel, Katherine. Sustaining Conflict. Apathy and Domination in Israel-Palestine. Oakland: University of California Press, 2016.

 

9780520285262

 

Sustaining Conflict develops a groundbreaking theory of political apathy, using a combination of ethnographic material, narrative, and political, cultural, and feminist theory. It examines how the status quo is maintained in Israel-Palestine, even by the activities of Jewish Israelis who are working against the occupation of Palestinian territories. The book shows how hierarchies and fault lines in Israeli politics lead to fragmentation, and how even oppositional power becomes routine over time. Most importantly, the book exposes how the occupation is sustained through a carefully crafted system that allows sympathetic Israelis to “knowingly not know,” further disconnecting them from the plight of Palestinians. While focusing on Israel, this is a book that has lessons for how any authoritarian regime is sustained through apathy.

 

Table of Contents

    • Preface
    • Introduction
    • 1 The Everyday of Occupation
    • 2 Bordered Communities
    • 3 Normalcy, Ruptured and Repaired
    • 4 Embedded (In)action
    • 5 Protesting Politics
    • Conclusion
    • Notes
    • Bibliography
    • Index

 

KATHERINE NATANEL is a Lecturer in Gender Studies at the Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies, University of Exeter.

New Article: Hackl, Privilege, Diversity, and Identification Among Cross-Border Activists in a Palestinian Village

Hackl, Andreas. “An Orchestra of Civil Resistance: Privilege, Diversity, and Identification Among Cross-Border Activists in a Palestinian Village.” Peace & Change 41.2 (2016): 167-93.

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/pech.12186

 

Abstract

Fluctuating forms of diversity have evolved as a result of cross-border interventions by civil resistance activists. Such diversity is nurtured by the inflows and outflows of individuals form very different backgrounds on a local stage of action. Discussing civil resistance as an arena in which such fluctuating diversity produces multilayered patterns of identification, this paper looks at Israeli and international activists who interject themselves temporarily into the local sphere of civil resistance in a Palestinian village. Here, solidarity activists form a highly diverse and shifting assemblage of actors who divide among themselves according to power-related ascriptions and privileges. As in a musical orchestra, individual activists and groups of activists each follow their own “score,” but align their distinct functions with one another to wage a struggle collectively. Within this orchestra of civil resistance, diversity is not the obstacle to collective action but its very basis.

 

 

 

New Article: Hadar,Resisting (with) the Other

Hadar, Uri. “Resisting (with) the Other: A Tribute to Eyad el-Sarraj.” Psychoanalysis, Culture & Society (early view, online first).
 
URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1057/pcs.2016.2
 
Abstract

Social and political oppression of a designated social group may be compared to repression in the individual domain. In both cases, there is an agency that acts as an oppressor or repressor, which agency arouses resistance in the oppressed. Resistance aims to liberate the oppressed/repressed from the subjugating agency. The question that I address in the present paper is whether there is any advantage in resisting oppression or repression jointly with the oppressor or the repressor. Such advantage may emerge if we deconstruct the separateness between the oppressor and the oppressed-repressor and repressed. Such a deconstruction gives rise to more hybrid notions of power relations. My paper examines these issues in two distinct domains: that of psychoanalysis (with special reference to therapy) and post-colonial theory (with special reference to the Israeli Occupation in the West Bank and Gaza). The results of my deconstruction are formulated in terms derived from the work of Melanie Klein, especially the concept of ‘part object’. I freely extend this term to refer to forms of partial subjecthood such as part subject, part resistance and part reconciliation and use these formulations to argue that resistance to repression/oppression in both therapy and the Occupation could better be done by collaboration between the related sides. This allows mutual reinforcement of the resisting effort. I illustrate these ideas by vignettes from the Palestinian-Israeli arena.

 

 

 

New Article: Simons, Ta’ayush’s Grassroots Activism

Simons, Jon. “Fields and Facebook: Ta’ayush’s Grassroots Activism and Archiving the Peace that Will Have Come in Israel/Palestine.” Media and Communication 4.1 (2016): 27-38.

 
URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.17645/mac.v4i1.390
 
Abstract

Israeli peace activism has increasingly taken place on new media, as in the case of the grassroots anti-Occupation group, Ta’ayush. What is the significance of Ta’ayush’s work on the ground and online for peace? This article considers the former in the light of social movement scholarship on peacebuilding, and the latter in light of new media scholarship on social movements. Each of those approaches suggest that Ta’ayush has very limited success in achieving its strategic goals or generating outrage about the Occupation in the virtual/public sphere. Yet, Ta’ayush’s apparent “failure” according to standard criteria of success misses the significance of Ta’ayush’s work. Its combination of grassroots activism and online documentation of its work in confronting the Occupation in partnership with Palestinians has assembled an impressive archive. Through the lens of Walter Benjamin’s philosophy of history, Ta’ayush can be seen to enact a “future perfect” peace that will have come.

 

 

 

New Article: Gawerc, Advocating Peace During the 2014 War in Gaza

Gawerc, Michelle I. “Advocating Peace During the 2014 War in Gaza.” Peace Review 28.1 (2016): 108-13.

 
URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10402659.2016.1130411
 
Extract

During the cycle of violence leading up to the third Israeli War in Gaza, some Israelis from Parents Circle/Families Forum (PCFF) – a peace organization consisting of Palestinians and Israelis who have lost a first-degree relative in the conflict – came together to discuss the events. While the Palestinian members could not join the meeting because of the closure of the West Bank, which the Israeli military imposed as a reaction to the kidnapping of three Israeli teenagers, the Palestinian Co-General Manager of the organization was aware of this meeting of the Israeli members and approved.

In the period following the kidnapping of the three Israeli teenagers in the West Bank, the Israeli military had closed off large sections of the Israeli-occupied west Bank, made four hundred and nineteen arrests, and raided twenty-two-hundred homes in the Hebron area. At least eight Palestinians were killed in this military operation – including the best friend of one of the Palestinian staff members.

During the meeting (which transpired before the dead bodies of the Israeli teens were found, and before the abduction and brutal murder of a Palestinian youth from East Jerusalem neighborhood by right-wing Israelis) one old-timer frantically noted that the situation was only going to get worse. While they discussed what they should do, one member suggested that they should sit in the middle of Tel Aviv every day in order to face, head-on, the hatred and anxiety manifesting itself on the streets until the current cycle of violence subsided. While they did not know how people would respond or for how long they would be sitting outside, they moved forward with the arrangements to set up what they call “The Peace Square.” Ironically, on the day that they received permission from the Tel Aviv municipality and the Israeli police, and secured a place to set up their Peace Square, the war began.

 

 

 

New Article: Müller, Realizing Concrete Rights within the Israeli Asylum Regime

Müller, Tanja R. “Acts of Citizenship as a Politics of Resistance? Reflections on Realizing Concrete Rights within the Israeli Asylum Regime.” Citizenship Studies (early view; online first).

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13621025.2015.1104291

Abstract

This paper investigates how Eritrean refugees in Israel and civil society organisations who engage with refugee issues contest the exclusionary politics of asylum in Israel. It presents various acts of claims-making initiated by Eritrean refugees themselves or in response to hostility by others, as well as acts inaugurated by Israeli civil society organisations on behalf of or with refugee populations. Drawing on the concept of activist acts of citizenship developed by Engin Isin, the paper subsequently analyses to what degree those acts have redefined aspects of social and political membership for Eritrean refugees in Israel. In a further step, it shows the limitations of such acts in terms of developing a solidaristic refugee-citizen agenda that profoundly challenges hegemonic public discourse and political debate. The paper concludes by arguing that activist acts of citizenship are best studied in relation to the transformative power they may have on the various individuals engaging in them, but not as a strategy for a wider politics of resistance, as ultimately nation state politics continue to determine the actual realisation of concrete rights.

 

 

 

ToC: American Quarterly 67.4 (2015): special issue on Palestine and American Studies

Forum

Introduction: Shifting Geographies of Knowledge and Power: Palestine and American Studies

pp. 993-1006

Rabab Abdulhadi, Dana M. Olwan

Solidarity with Palestine from Diné Bikéyah

pp. 1007-1015

Melanie K. Yazzie

Black–Palestinian Solidarity in the Ferguson–Gaza Era

pp. 1017-1026

Kristian Davis Bailey

Taking Risks, or The Question of Palestine Solidarity and Asian American Studies

pp. 1027-1037

Junaid Rana, Diane C. Fujino

Borders Are Obsolete: Relations beyond the “Borderlands” of Palestine and US–Mexico

pp. 1039-1046

Leslie Quintanilla, Jennifer Mogannam

Labor for Palestine: Challenging US Labor Zionism

pp. 1047-1055

Michael Letwin, Suzanne Adely, Jaime Veve

The Islamophobia Industry and the Demonization of Palestine: Implications for American Studies

pp. 1057-1066

Hatem Bazian

Zionism and Anti-Zionism: A Necessary Detour, Not a Final Destination

pp. 1067-1073

Keith P. Feldman

Throwing Stones in Glass Houses: The ASA and the Road to Academic Boycott

pp. 1075-1083

Bill V. Mullen

New Book: Baron, Obligation in Exile

Baron, Ilan Zvi. Obligation in Exile: The Jewish Diaspora, Israel and Critique. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press 2015.

 

Obligation-in-exile

Combining political theory and sociological interviews spanning four countries, Israel, the USA, Canada and the UK, Ilan Zvi Baron explores the Jewish Diaspora/Israel relationship and suggests that instead of looking at Diaspora Jews’ relationship with Israel as a matter of loyalty, it is one of obligation.

Baron develops an outline for a theory of transnational political obligation and, in the process, provides an alternative way to understand and explore the Diaspora/Israel relationship than one mired in partisan debates about whether or not being a good Jew means supporting Israel. He concludes by arguing that critique of Israel is not just about Israeli policy, but about what it means to be a Diaspora Jew.

 

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements
Preface

  • Introduction
  • 1. the Limits of Political Obligation
  • 2. Power and Obligation
  • 3.Between Zion and Diaspora: Internationalisms, Transnationalisms, Obligation and Security
  • 4. From Eating Hummus to the Sublime
  • 5. Obligation and Critique
  • Conclusion: Obligation in Exile, Critique and the Future of the Jewish Diaspora

Appendix
Notes
Bibliography
Index

 

 

New Article: Yazbak-Abu Ahmad et al, Intergroup Dialogue as a Just Dialogue

Yazbak-Abu Ahmad, Manal, Adrienne B. Dessel, Alice Mishkin, Noor Ali, and Hind Oma. “Intergroup Dialogue as a Just Dialogue: Challenging and Preventing Normalization in Campus Dialogues.” Digest of Middle East Studies 24.2 (2015): 236-59.

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/dome.12067

 
Abstract

The tensions from the Israeli occupation of Palestine reach around the globe and heated debates over the struggles of these two peoples are evident on U.S. college campuses. The power imbalance represented in the relationship between Palestinians and Israelis is replicated on college campuses. BDS (Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions) is a response to this inequality, is a movement to end the occupation, and has raised the issue of normalization. Teaching about this conflict presents particular challenges for faculty who negotiate this highly contested issue in classrooms or campus communities, and intergroup dialogue is an important pedagogy that can be used. It is critical to address normalization in intergroup dialogue. We discuss examples and themes of normalization in intergroup dialogue, and present pedagogical and other strategies to prevent and address normalization in intergroup dialogue and in other similar intergroup contact approaches with Arab or Palestinian and Jewish or Israeli participants.

 

 

 

New Article: Sazzad, Mahmoud Darwish’s Poetry as Sumud

Sazzad, Rehnuma. “Mahmoud Darwish’s Poetry as Sumud. Palestinian Resistance to Israeli Occupation and Subjugation.” Interventions (early view; online first).

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/1369801X.2015.1079493

 

Abstract

This essay makes explicit the connection between Palestinian resistance to Israeli control and the principle of sumud. Drawing on Raja Shehadeh and Ismail Shammout, I define this concept and show its strategic role in the resistance. Arguably, critics have identified Darwish’s constant pursuit of aesthetics and his deep commitment to the Palestinian cause without linking them to the narrative of sumud. I suggest that his contribution to the narrative is built on the ground that his aggressors lack the intrinsic tie to the land, which his people perennially possess. Whereas the Israelis produce mythical claims on the land, the indigenous Palestinians are like their olive trees – unswervingly there. In particular, the creativity of the people makes present their absented homeland. Darwish’s exile renders the second phenomenon more comprehensible. Even though he was physically removed from his homeland at a young age, his imagination remained implanted there throughout his life, which resulted in a rich oeuvre.

 

 

New Article: Segalo et al, Engaging Memory and Imagination Within Decolonizing Frameworks

Segalo, Puleng, Einat Manoff, Michelle Fine. “Working With Embroideries and Counter-Maps: Engaging Memory and Imagination Within Decolonizing Frameworks.” Journal of Social and Political Psychology 3.1 (2015).

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.5964/jspp.v3i1.145

 

Abstract

As people around the world continue to have their voices, desires, and movements restricted, and their pasts and futures told on their behalf, we are interested in the critical project of decolonizing, which involves contesting dominant narratives and hegemonic representations. Ignacio Martín-Baró called these the “collective lies” told about people and politics. This essay reflects within and across two sites of injustice, located in Israel/Palestine and in South Africa, to excavate the circuits of structural violence, internalized colonization and possible reworking of those toward resistance that can be revealed within the stubborn particulars of place, history, and culture. The projects presented here are locally rooted, site-specific inquiries into contexts that bear the brunt of colonialism, dispossession, and occupation. Using visual research methodologies such as embroideries that produce counter-narratives and counter-maps that divulge the complexity of land-struggles, we search for fitting research practices that amplify unheard voices and excavate the social psychological soil that grows critical analysis and resistance. We discuss here the practices and dilemmas of doing decolonial research and highlight the need for research that excavates the specifics of a historical material context and produces evidence of previously silenced narratives.

 

 

New Article: Patierno, Palestinian Liberation Theology

Patierno, Nicole. “Palestinian Liberation Theology: Creative Resistance to Occupation.” Islam and Christian–Muslim Relations (early view; online first).

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09596410.2015.1080896

 

Abstract

The ongoing Israeli occupation of the Palestinian Territories has widely affected the Christian population in the region. This study focuses narrowly on the diminishing minority of Palestinian Christians, and how their position under occupation has led to the development of Palestinian Liberation Theology and practices of creative resistance. It begins by acknowledging the unique position of Palestinian Christians as liminal yet indigenous members of society. It then explores their complex collective identity, demonstrating how specific facets of their historic identity (i.e. denominationalism, Arabism, and political station) have been preserved, and how these inform their theological and practical responses to the changing socio-political landscape. It goes on to probe the degree of consensus around Palestinian Liberation Theology, as well as prominent manifestations of the ideology in response to occupation. Ultimately, this study finds that Palestinian Liberation Theology represents a creative and valuable contribution to the national struggle for liberation, providing a shared ideology and culturally specific blueprint for revolutionary collective action guided by plurality, nonviolence, and collaboration.

 

 

New Article: Høigilt, Popular Resistance and Double Repression in the West Bank

Høigilt, Jacob. “Nonviolent Mobilization between a Rock and a Hard Place. Popular Resistance and Double Repression in the West Bank.” Journal of Peace Research 52.5 (2015): 636-48.

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0022343315572497

 

Abstract

Recent research on contentious politics in the Middle East emphasizes the importance of repression and its effect on social movements, often manifested in demobilization and so-called ‘nonmovements’. This case study of West Bank Palestinian activism seeks to go beyond such outcomes. The current, youthful nonviolent Palestinian grassroots activism in the West Bank is persistent, despite repeated violent repression. Focusing on the interplay between context, practices, and networks, this article shows how an increasingly vocal and visible popular resistance movement has asserted itself despite facing double repression – from the occupying Israeli state and the Palestinian National Authority. In a highly repressive context characterized by widespread demobilization, especially among young people, the impetus for mobilization is not perceived opportunity, but rather existential threats. The analysis focuses on how long-term repression from the external occupier and the internal elite contributes to forming specific kinds of contentious practices and networks among young Palestinian grassroots activists. By deploying new and creative contentious tactics they partly succeed in challenging the Israeli occupation without risking sanctions from the internal Palestinian elite. They are also able to criticize this elite implicitly, bringing popular pressure to bear on it. However, while the strategic use of nonviolence has provided these activist environments with a degree of resilience in the face of repression, they are unable to mobilize on a wide scale as long as the Palestinian political elite does not support them.

 

 

Reviews: Weiss, Conscientious Objectors in Israel

Weiss, Erica. Conscientious Objectors in Israel. Citizenship, Sacrifice, Trials of Fealty. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2014.
15212

 

Reviews

  • Singeisen, David. “Review.” LSE Review of Books, August 2014.
  • Shammas, Victor L. “Review.” Social Anthropology 22.4 (2014): 518-519.
  • Stern, Nehemia. “Review.” American Ethnologist 42.1 (2015): 181-183.
  • Aviram, Hadar. “Review.” Perspectives on Politics 13.2 (2015): 526-8.
  • Linn, Ruth, and Renana Gal. “Review.” Israel Studies Review 30.1 (2015): 149-152.

 

 

New Article: Livio, Constructions of Space in the Discourse of Israeli Military Refuseniks

Livio, Oren. “The Path of Least Resistance: Constructions of Space in the Discourse of Israeli Military Refuseniks.” Discourse, Context and Media (early view; online first).

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.dcm.2015.02.002

 

Abstract

In this article I examine the ways in which Israeli soldiers who refuse to serve in the Occupied Territories use spatial representations and metaphors in discourse explaining their decision to refuse. Using Lefebvre’s (1995) framework regarding spaces of representation as sites of political struggle, I analyze how selective refuseniks construct the Territories as a space of pollution, irrationality, disorder and death, expressing fear that these qualities might contaminate Israeli space, and thus implicitly promoting a separatist logic of exclusion. Refuseniks employ metaphors of movement to portray the transition from ‘here’ to ‘there’ as a shift into an alternate universe, and attempt to appropriate hegemonic discursive conceptualizations associated with three culturally loaded spaces: the prison, the Jewish settlements, and Nazi Germany. The ambivalent dialectics of dominant and resistant ideologies in refuseniks’ discourse and their cultural implications are discussed.

 

New Article: Griffin, Segregation and Grassroots Politics on the Bus

Griffin, Maryam S. “Freedom Rides in Palestine: Racial Segregation and Grassroots Politics on the Bus.” Race & Class 56.4 (2015): 73-84.

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0306396814567410

 

Abstract

This article offers an examination of the role of buses in Palestinian protest actions directed at an international audience. These demonstrations occur as part of a post-Oslo strategic shift in which Palestinian resistance has de-prioritised leader-centred negotiations in favour of grassroots mobilisation that directly appeals to international civil society. Given this strategy, the bus is a useful vehicle, both literally and symbolically, for transmitting the message of Palestinian demands for freedom. First, the bus powerfully evokes the triumphs of an earlier generation of activists fighting racial segregation. Second, as a recognisable form of public transportation and mobility, the use of the bus allows Palestinian activists to focus international solidarity on one of the central hardships of occupied life: the denial of the right to freedom of movement, which entrenches the ongoing separation of Palestinians across Palestine.